‘Don’t be led up the garden path!’ Swaps lawyer issues warning to SMEs

Published: 14/02/2014

Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams Solicitors, Simon Cottrell, is urging small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by interest rate swaps mis selling to seek specialised legal representation when pursuing redress:

“There remains a real misunderstanding of the Financial Conduct Authority’s review scheme into interest rate swaps mis selling so let me start by explaining what is really going on.

“Yes lenders have been told to investigate their sales practice in regards to interest rate swaps and yes lenders are contacting businesses who have been sold a swap inviting them to opt into the scheme and attend a meeting.

“But this does not mean a business is guaranteed redress!

“No matter how the ‘meeting’ is dressed up – be it a fact-find exercise or a preliminary appointment – the reality is these meetings can be nothing short of an interrogation where the lender or independent reviewer – who’s appointed by the bank, remember – looks to find evidence that the business understood the nature and implications of the swap. We know – we’ve seen it firsthand.

“What’s more we heard firsthand the impact these meetings can have on the outcome of a claim. Many businesses who attended the meeting alone and inadvertently damaged their chances of receiving redress have then come to us for help and advice. Sadly this is often too little too late and the opportunity for a fair trial have since passed.

“I continue to be stunned by the number of businesses who, having already been stung by their lender, are prepared to pursue a claim alone. You wouldn’t go into court to argue a case worth a half of million pounds without a lawyer by your side. However this is exactly what business owners are doing by agreeing to meet with their lender and/or the independent reviewer solo.

“In order to maximise your chances of receiving full compensation for a mis sold interest rate swap contact our team of swaps lawyers as soon as you can. In the meantime our helpful infographic explains what to do if or when you receive a letter from your lender.”

Content correct at time of publication

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